We all know that the publishing industry has recently faced disruption on a previously unknown scale. The rise of working at home has presented a range of challenges most companies have not faced before. What does it mean for new product development if your route to market is disrupted? Do you need to promote and sell products in a different way? Which teams do you furlough? The considerations have been head-spinning.

In 2018, UK publishers saw physical sales drop by 5%, while digital sales increased by 3%. However, digital sales represented £653m against the printed sales of £2.9bn. It was also recently announced by the Publishers Association that 2019 was UK publishing’s biggest year ever, showing growth in both the industry’s print and digital revenues. Publishing is alive and kicking. And back at the beginning of May this year, publishers were broadly positive about the long term health of the industry, according to The Bookseller.

While the financial future is still not certain due to the impact of the pandemic, some elements of this picture are vitally important to consider.

Digital products saw a bounce. In the early stages of lockdown, we saw that people still craved content for entertainment, escapism, enrichment and learning, and turned to digital to serve those needs. David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK reported strong e-book and audio sales in the first quarter of 2020.

Routes to market need rethinking. When brick-and-mortar bookshops and most wholesalers were closed, there was nowhere for physical stock to go. Even Amazon throttled back on book distribution with only children’s and educational books being prioritised. E-commerce options and your marketing strategies will need rethinking post-pandemic.

Listening to customers is more important than ever. If you’re going to adapt and evolve your publishing strategy you need to know what your customers want, how they want it and when. From families seeking entertainment or education, to professionals now working at home, higher education institutions are pivoting their learning online to researchers needing to collaborate in real time across the globe. 

Marc Benioff, Co-Founder of Salesforce, is a big believer in The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The term describes the blurring of boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. It’s a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies. Salesforce is one of those companies that disrupts industries, and publishing is no exception.

So, what does Salesforce offer that can help at a time like this?

  • Sales and Service Clouds: manage sales and customer interactions.
  • Pardot: marketing automation for targeted campaigns and lead management.
  • Sales Cloud Einstein: AI at the heart of the CRM including lead scoring and key business insights.
  • App Exchange: the opportunity to select from thousands of apps and components to enhance your CRM.
  • Mobile: Salesforce seamlessly works on mobile devices, which means teams can harness the CRM wherever they are.

We have a talented team who are experts in making CRM work for publishing businesses like yours. If you’d like to have a chat about the challenges you face at the moment and how your marketing and sales systems can work harder for you, email us at [email protected].

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